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Tory MPs unite to support the tough sentences given to Facebook riot inciters

By Matthew Barrett
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Several Conservative MPs have made media appearances today, supporting the "tough" sentences given to Facebook users Jordan Blackshaw and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan, who were given four-year jail terms for encouraging "rioters to destroy their local towns". 

  • Margot James, the MP for Stourbridge, was on BBC2's Newsnight last night, justifying the sentences because, she said "I think the young men involved were inciting a riot, trying to organise a sort of mayhem that we saw on the streets eight nights ago in Salford, which would have put lives at risk, and at the very least they would have distracted the police from trying to deal with that crisis, and put a lot of fear into people".
  • PICKLES-ERIC-ON-BBCThe Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, was on Radio 4's Today programme this morning, and called the sentences "exemplary", and said: "I think we need to understand that people for a while thought that this was a crime without consequence. We cannot have people being frightened in their beds, frightened in their own homes for their public safety."
  • DAVIES DAVIDDavid Davies (who is the MP for Monmouth, rather than the former Shadow Home Secretary), and is a Special Constable, takes a special interest in justice issues. He told the BBC News channel this morning: "These sentences are about sending out a very strong message that anyone who wants to organise mayhem like this is going to face custody. I think it’s entirely appropriate."
  • Mr Davies also appeared on Sky News later this morning, rejecting claims by "human rights" campaigns that the sentences were too severe, saying: "I think it’s about time we heard a bit less about the human rights of rioting, violent mobs and a bit more about the human rights of people living in houses above shops or going to work on buses whose lives were turned upside down by the antics of disgraced minorities. Those are the human rights I care about and that’s what we should be putting in the forefront of our justice system."
  • Finally, Gavin Barwell, the MP for a very badly affected part of London - Croydon Central, appeared on BBC Radio 5live Breakfast, and said: "I think the vast majority of the people who I represent in Parliament will be pleased to see these sentences."
Carswell Douglas PS Douglas Carswell MP also blogged this morning in support of the "stiff prison sentences":

"The courts have discovered that the Sentencing Council's softly-softly guidelines can be tossed aside. Offenders are being sent down as a result.

Imagine if our criminal justice system worked like this all the time?


It seems that those who run the justice system can respond to public concerns after all. Perhaps if judges, magistrates and public prosecutors had to answer to the law abiding majority all the time, we might start to get effective justice all the time."


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